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Ask Bondi Vet - Tips on getting a puppy to be comfortable home alone?

In every episode of Ask Bondi Vet, Pete Lazer is joined by one of our Bondi Vets, to discuss the answers to your pet questions.

Pete Lazer - Hello and welcome to Ask Bondi Vet, proudly brought to you by Bondi Vet pet insurance. My name's Pete Lazer, joined today by one of our wonderful Bondi vets in Dr. Danni. This is your place to get all of your pet questions answered and today we’ve got a question from Kate, Kate writes;

“Any tips on getting a puppy comfortable to be home alone?”.

Ida is three months old and when we go out she’s in the laundry or bathroom with activities, toys, her bed and food and water.But she’s always very distressed and destructive. It’s not all day but maybe two hours at the most whilst I get the shopping. No doubt Kate’s not alone in this situation.

Dr Danni Dusek - Absolutely! Now it is possible that this behaviour is normal puppy behaviour, but certainly little Ida could be suffering from a little bit of separation anxiety, whilst your out and about. What I would suggest is trying some behaviour modification techniques. So the way to go about that is with your pup you need to train your pup to be able to sit, lie down and relax and relax on a mat or a bed, somewhere where they are happy and initially you are going to be right there with them and what you want to try and do is increase the distance of which you can step away from the pup and keep them relaxed and then increase the periods of time. So eventually you’ll be able to leave the house and they’ll be nice and calm and relaxed on their little mat. So it does take a lot of persistence but hopefully you’ll be able to get there

Pete Lazer - And the reward is not doubt there at the end. What about space confinement, that sounds like a tricky one.

Dr Danni Dusek - Sure it is tricky, particularly when you have a puppy and you want to keep them safe and all your belongings safe. What I would suggest, incase it is a bit of confinement issue, being in the laundry. It might be worth trying something like a little puppy playpen you now in a bigger room so that they don't feel quite so enclosed and they can see out, but they don't have the same issues of you know getting into mischief. So that might be something to try as well.

Pete Lazer - And what about some general tips just for anyone whos out there who may have the same problems as Kate?

Dr Danni Dusek - Certainly, so I guess other general advice for any pup is you want to make sure that they are getting plenty of exercise. If they are really, really worn out and you want to head out they are likely to just want to have a nap, so that would be ideal wouldn’t it. Otherwise obedience training can be great to stimulate them, the food dispensing toys are a great way to keep them preoccupided. So there are a few things that can help sort of keep them satisfied whilst you are out.

Pete Lazer - Fantastic tips, thanks Danni. If you’ve got any questions just get onto the Facebook page of Bondi Vet or our website BondiVet.com/Questions. Of course if you have any specific issues make sure you check them out with your vet. We’ll be back again soon, bye for now.